Weekend Watch : The Social Dilemma on Netflix

Very interesting watch where tech experts talk about the human impact of social networking. Have you seen it? If yes, let’s discuss.

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Tristan Harris is well worth paying attention to. Ironically he talks about (ab-)use of human attention itself!

You might want to check out his other talks and podcasts. And while you are at it, give ‘Amusing Ourselves to Death’ by Neil Postman a go too.

I have marked it for watching- hearing rave reviews about the documentary (if I may call so)

It’s a good movie. Highlights the dangers of cyberspace and how our digital personas are being sold by private tech companies to other companies (both public and private).

I personally think the way to improve these services is to remove the freemium/free business model. It’s easy to create thousands of bots on Twitter or Facebook because it’s free. If they required minimum payment upfront, many bot campaigns would quickly become unsustainable. This will make them more liable to the consumers rather than advertisers and remove additional privacy-violating fingerprinting methods to curb those bots.

This will reduce their reach by making consumers conscious about what they are spending and what they are getting. My dad wouldn’t pay for Facebook but he would for WhatsApp because he gets actual utility from it as opposed to the mindless Facebook feed. Facebook can’t satisfy everyone but people are stuck because of its network effect.

It’s also easier to be compliant and legally viable opposed to legal verification and other bureaucratic mess that everyone is coming up with. Less prone to centralized control (fact check government API).

Non profit services can be exempt. This will not apply to individuals and open source. Only for-profit entities providing services will. There can be a limited timeframe for freemium as a trial (restricted to 3-6 months).